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All-star lineup... This should hopefully be a good CD





On Saturday, June 5, former HELLOWEEN singer Michael Kiske returned to the live stage for the first time in 17 years with his new band UNISONIC — also featuring Dennis Ward (bass) and Kosta Zafiriou (drums) of Germany's PINK CREAM 69 and Swiss guitarist Mandy Meyer (who has previously played with ASIA, GOTTHARD and KROKUS) — for a headlining performance at Live Music Hall in Mörlenbach, Germany. Several more shows followed, including an appearance at this year's Sweden Rock Festival in Sölvesborg, Sweden (see video footage below).


Kiske has since released the following statement via the UNISONIC MySpace page:


"Having done my first live shows after almost 17 years, I'd like to say that I was really thrilled about still having many friends out there after such a long time. Some people even came from Russia just for our freaking warm-up shows, another guy came from Turkey! That's unbelievable. I am deeply honored and moved by this and don't take any of it for granted.


"My voice was not half way where I want it to be in terms of condition for live situations — this always needs some time, especially after so many years — but on most songs I did well and the audience was great.


"It was very important for me to do this and to have new face to face contact with you people again after isolating myself for a long time.


"In Sweden it was extremely cool to see how welcome UNISONIC was and how many autographs we had to give afterwards. And it was not only 'Keeper' or PLACE VENDOME CDs I had to sign; every second CD seemed to be one of my solo CDs. I didn't expect that.


"I have been quite harsh on the metal scene over some time and was pretty pissed about it, because I can't deal with certain things in it, and that might have made me be a bit unfair occasionally, but that wasn't for very long. And meeting many of you fans now again has helped me to adjust even more now.


"I don't hate all metal, I just hate morally wrong ideologies which are circulating within the metal scene and I don't accept any sort of art slavery. But I still like rock music, yes, even some of my favorite metal records of my youth, because most of them are simply great rock records.


"In many ways, the music wasn't really the problem. My problem was, is and will always be the satanic sickness that is so common in the scene. I have NO understanding for inhumanity and heartlessness glorifying people and fascistic mentalities. I believe in good-hearted humans, love and understanding, and that free and honest music is the only law for a healthy and true music culture.


"What I have criticized about the metal scene was and is very just, but to each its own, of course.


"I will always speak my mind.


"My spiritual, moral and artistic convictions haven't changed a bit, but I am a lot more relaxed now and if I went too far sometimes in the past, I am sorry; I don't want to be unfair at all.


"Not all metal fans are Ignorants or Satanists, I never really thought that anyway. I have actually met only cool, good-hearted and intelligent metal and rock fans on this very short 'tour.' Some even seem to understand my way of thinking when we talked. They were much more open-minded and friendly than I thought, and if that would be representative for the majority, I'd be very happy.


"I wanted to get these words out to you guys while all is still fresh."


UNISONIC's setlist for the Mörlenbach concert was as follows:


01. Cross The Line (PLACE VENDÔME's self-titled debut)

02. I'll Be Gone (extended ending) (PLACE VENDÔME's self-titled debut)

03. I'll Be Waiting (PLACE VENDÔME's self-titled debut)

04. Set Me Free (PLACE VENDÔME's "Streets Of Fire")

05. My Guardian Angel (PLACE VENDÔME's "Streets Of Fire")

06. Too Late (PLACE VENDÔME's self-titled debut)

07. 6/8 Souls Alive (new song, written by Mandy Meyer)

08. Completely Breathless (PLACE VENDÔME's "Streets Of Fire")

09. Sign Of The Times (PLACE VENDÔME's self-titled debut)

10. Streets of Fire (PLACE VENDÔME's "Streets Of Fire")

11. The Setting Sun (PLACE VENDÔME's self-titled debut)

12. Follow Me (PLACE VENDÔME's "Streets Of Fire")

13. Kids Of The Century (reworked HELLOWEEN song from Kiske's "Past In Different Ways")

14. A Little Time (reworked HELLOWEEN song from Kiske's "Past In Different Ways")

15. 6/8 Souls Alive (reprise)

16. Cross The Line (reprise)


UNISONIC has finished composing nine songs for its forthcoming debut album. A demo recording is currently being put together and will be used to procure label interest. Italy's Frontiers Records, with whom Kiske and Ward have both worked in the past on various projects, is reportedly very interested in releasing the CD, but the group is said to be keeping its options open.


UNISONIC marks the first time Kiske has been involved in a real band situation in almost 16 years. Having split with HELLOWEEN in late 1993, he participated in various projects and released several solo albums but had not been part of a real group effort until now.


While collaborating with Ward and Zafiriou on the PLACE VENDOME project four years ago, Kiske found two musical soulmates. They ended up recording two PLACE VENDOME albums before deciding to join forces in a new brand new band. Ward, who had previously produced a record for KROKUS, suggested Meyer as the perfect addition to the group in the vacant guitarist slot.


Kiske, one of the finest and most unique voices in contemporary rock music, explains his motivation of becoming a part of a band again: "Since the PLACE VENDOME productions I was impressed by Dennis Ward's skills as a songwriter and producer. We were occasionally fooling around since then via email that we should do more together in the future, so the idea came up to do a new band. I was generally getting a bit tired of doing everything on my own for so many years, so it just felt like the right thing to do now. We can all only benefit from working together. No matter how good you are solo, four people will always be better than one, I think, if they manage to function together. And a real band is also a very good reason to finally go on tour again. After 17 years, I can't wait to get back on stage and have some fun with the band and the fans!"







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